Malditas’ Fil-Am gets call to play in US soccer league
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - June 17, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Malditas’ Fil-Am midfielder Joana Houplin got a call-up from the Seattle Reign FC for their match against Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League, the top-level pro league for lady booters in the US. The match is slated Monday (Manila time) at JELD-WEN Field in Oregon.

Houplin, coming off a stint in the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Group B qualifiers last May in Bangladesh, was among four amateurs the Reign tapped from their reserve side, the Issaquah Soccer Club, for the showdown with the Thorns, along with defenders Bree Rowe and Caitlin Allen and midfielder Macy Jo Harrison.

The Reign occupy last spot in the eight-team NWSL with one-point on one draw against eight losses and will be hard-pressed to post their first triumph of the season with goalkeeper Hope Solo (US), defender Emily Zurrer and midfielder Kaylyn Kyle (Canada), and midfielder Jessica Fishlock (Wales) out on national team duties.

A former Western Washington U standout, Houplin beefed up the Malditas for their Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers campaign last May in Dhaka, where she scored a goal and assisted two others in their 6-0 rout of Iran and started in their heartbreaking 0-1 loss to powerhouse Thailand. The Malditas eventually settled for second in the group with six points behind group winner Thailand (nine points) and missed the lone berth to next year’s World Cup-qualifying Women’s Asian Cup.

After her stint with the Malditas, Houplin joined the Reign’s reserve side in the second-level Women’s Premier Soccer League. The Fil-Am played her first game last week and started in Issaquah Soccer Club’s 3-0 win over Westside Timbers.

ASIAN CUP ASIAN CUP GROUP B BREE ROWE AND CAITLIN ALLEN EMILY ZURRER FIL-AM HOPE SOLO HOUPLIN ISSAQUAH SOCCER CLUB JESSICA FISHLOCK MALDITAS
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